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Handgemaakte hangers maken met bloemen - itsOkay

Making handmade pendants with flowers

With UV Resin (epoxy) you can make the most beautiful creations. How special is it that you can process your own picked flowers and leaves into handmade jewelry? We will tell you more about this in this manual.

This manual was written by expert Colette from BeLeaf Art . She makes the most beautiful jewelry and other creations with dried flowers, leaves and plants. In this manual she explains how she does this and how you could do it too. So you learn from the best!

Introduction

My name is Colette and with my company BeLeaf Art I make jewelry with pieces of real nature cast in UV Resin (ready-made epoxy). I capture beautiful or special details of real petals, plant leaves, lacecaps and birch bark in jewelry. Each piece of jewelry is made with a lot of attention, patience, precision and love ;-). Everything is handmade and custom made and every piece of jewelry is unique: none are the same. This way you always carry nature close to you. The great thing is: many flowers, plants and trees have a beautiful symbolic meaning, which makes your jewelry extra valuable.
The best part is that you can find this yourself in nature. Pick selectively and ensure that the plant does not suffer. You can also use beautiful flowers from almost dead bouquets. I am now completely leaf minded ;-).

Where can you find the flowers, plants and leaves?

Go for a walk and you will be surprised what you encounter. Everywhere you go you see flowers, plants or trees. That's why I always carry different sizes of watercolor sketchbooks with thick elastic around them. The paper of these sketchbooks is perfect for pressing leaves because it absorbs moisture well. This way I can immediately dry and press a just-picked flower or leaf. In addition, I always have a pocket knife or flower scissors and a pen nearby. Then I can immediately write where + when I picked it and what kind of leaf it is.

The Birch Bark

The birch bark with which I have made a lot of jewelry naturally peels off the trees and I take pieces of it with me. This bark has different layers that you can carefully pull apart. Each layer has a completely different color. For example, one piece of birch bark can have amber, white, brown and beige in it. So cool.

After picking

After picking or collecting, only sort out the most beautiful leaves. Look at the veins, the lines of the leaf, the colors, the thickness and the size. Only the most beautiful ones remain and go into the plant press to dry and straighten/flatten. Also the birch bark, because it curls incredibly. Please note: only put it in the press when it is dry.

How do you proceed?

Place the leaves of the same thickness together in one layer in the plant press. Place a piece of cardboard and moisture-absorbing paper between each layer. I often open the plant press a few times in the first 1 to 1.5 weeks to see how the drying and pressing process is going.



Some leaves contain a lot of moisture and if you do not replace the paper between them, it can become moldy and you can throw away all the leaves. Not every leaf comes out the same in terms of lines and color as you put it in. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. The color of some leaves disappears, but even the remaining brown/beige color can be very beautiful. Some leaves come out in a completely different color. Such a nice surprise every time.

Important!

Write on each press what you put in it and the date. This is useful if you dry a lot of leaves, so that you know exactly when what has finished drying. Thin leaves only take a week to dry; for others it takes up to 3 weeks.

After drying

The presses open after 1-3 weeks. Are you also very curious about the result? If the drying and pressing process has gone well, most of the leaves come out as delicate paper. It is advisable to only use tweezers, because if you try to grab the leaves with your fingers, there is a very good chance that they will break. You then make selections of only the most beautiful and best leaves for your handmade epoxy pendants.

Storing dried leaves/flowers

If you dry multiple leaves and flowers, it is best to sort them. For example, put this in a storage box with many compartments and then put it away in a dark cupboard. Over time (months/years), color disappears from flowers and leaves, but you can slow down that process by placing them in the dark.
The UV Resin that you will soon pour on the flowers will preserve the color for a long time.

Processing the flowers/leaves in UV Resin

Choose which leaf you want to use for your homemade jewelry. You can pour flowers into charms that are closed like these: closed round pendants .
You will then cut the leaves to size for the pendants you have chosen on a cutting mat.
Sometimes I choose all earth tones, other times bright colors or select on the grain. Because dried leaves are very fragile, this is a difficult job. It takes a lot of patience. Cutting often fails because the leaf breaks off and you have to start over again.

What tools do you need?

I use the following tools to cut flowers:
- Tweezers , small scissors and very sharp blades (scalping knife).
Make sure the cut-out leaf fits snugly into the hanger and place it on a level surface. After this we go to the next step: casting!

Fill the pendants with UV Resin

Fill the pendant with a very thin first layer of UV Resin . Spread the epoxy evenly over the surface of the hanger. Allow this first layer to harden for just a few seconds, so that you can place the cut-out leaf on top without it 'drowning' in the synthetic resin. The synthetic resin is therefore more like a glue.
Then let it harden under a UV lamp .



You then build up each pendant in several thin layers of UV Resin . This is so that you can remove any air bubbles that may arise during pouring or curing. Briefly go over the layer with a heat tool and pop the air bubbles. Do this very carefully.



When the pendant is completely full of the epoxy resin, we will apply the last layer with a convexity, this is called "doming". Very carefully apply a little epoxy in the center and do not let it run over the edges. Then let it harden again under the UV lamp . So cool to see that it magnifies the patterns, lines and intensity of the colors of the leaf.

Finally

I think the most beautiful leaf so far is the purple/pink orchid, but it is also the most difficult to work with. When I am 100% satisfied with the jewelry, I will photograph and edit it for Instagram and the webshop. Fortunately, because I am also a filmmaker/photographer, I have a feeling for this and I love doing it.



You can view my creations on my social media and website. As precisely as I work, it is art, but if you want to make a pendant yourself, that is of course not necessary.
Get started quickly and make beautiful nature pendants yourself!

Do you want to make this too?

- Hangers for epoxy
- Dried flowers / Dried leaves
- UV Resin
- UV Lamp for epoxy

More information?

Do you have questions about making art, jewelry or casting/coating floors or other objects? Several people work at itsOkay epoxy experts each with their own expertise. We are happy to help you.
Please contact the customer service from itsOkay or take a look at it Epoxy knowledge center .

Disclaimer: all photos are taken and owned by Colette. These photos may not be used or shared. All photos are copyrighted.

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